Book Review: Grandma Was Right after All!

The older I get, the more often I hear myself saying the same things to my kids that Mom said to me! I think that’s why the title of this book by John Rosemond caught my eye: Grandma Was Right after All! It turns out, my mom was right about a lot of things, and I didn’t exactly appreciate that while I was growing up.

There’s plenty of good advice mixed in with the pithy sayings that most of us will recognize our parents or grandparents quoting. As much as I always disliked the phrase, “Because I said so,” you really can’t reason with a 4-year-old intent on getting his own way. No matter what you say, sometimes they just keep arguing… How many of us haven’t, “Learned our lessons the hard way,” and been left to deal with the consequences of our own actions, no matter how unpleasant. Admittedly, these “hard way” lessons are the ones that have stuck with me the most. That saying, “You’re acting too big for your britches,” may or may not have been directed at me a few times… And if only I had a dollar for every time Mom told me, “Life isn’t fair,” well, you get the picture!

I love my kids dearly, and I do enjoy being around them. I sure hope that they like to be around me too! Unfortunately, I also have the responsibility to parent them. That’s not always easy! Telling them, “You made this bed, and now you’re going to have to lie in it,” and then stepping back and letting them do just that will probably not make me popular. Looking back though, I’m glad that Mom did that for me. This is the kind of “big picture” perspective that you’ll find in Grandma Was Right after All!

Now, I didn’t necessarily agree with everything in the book, but there is a lot of good advice to be gleaned from it. My one big concern is that the book overall came off as a bit harsh. Yes, sometimes our kids do need to learn their lessons the hard way, but we need to balance this with relationship-building and making sure that we show our kids how much we love them too.

Overall, I enjoyed reading Grandma Was Right after All!, and I did find some great suggestions in the book. Not to mention laughing over some of the all-too-familiar phrases from my childhood!

Note: I received a complementary copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Book Review: Longing for Paris

I’m a dreamer. Have been since I was just a little girl, and I’ve not grown out of it yet! When I read this on the cover of Longing for Paris, I knew that I had to read it:

“One woman’s search for joy, beauty, and adventure – right where she is.”

Sarah Mae is a wife and homeschooling mom, so right away I felt like I could identify with her a bit. Even so, I was a bit nervous going into it. Would this be one of those books that told me to stop dreaming, grow up, and just focus solely on my family? Or, would it be a book that just re-iterated how I had to set aside time for my dreams and not become distracted? Turns out it was neither.

At the beginning of Longing for Paris, Sarah Mae tells us how she longs to visit Paris, and through the book mentions various reasons why. That’s where she starts, but the rest of the book will take us through deeper longings and questions. Seriously, get reading to do some thinking when you pick up this book!

Each chapter ends with and “Unearthing Your Longings” section that will give you something to ponder and suggestions for scripture to meditate on further. There’s also a little “An Invitation to Paris!” box that gives you a fun idea for incorporating a little bit of Paris into your life. Paris isn’t exactly a place that I’ve longed to visit, but it was still neat to figure out how to make the suggestion fit with my own longings. (Cottage on the rugged Maine coastline anyone?)

So many of the books in this genre that I’ve read tend to be rather shallow, but what I appreciated the most about Longing for Paris was that it gets so much to the heart of things and continually directs my focus back to God. There’s a lot of emphasis on our relationship with Him all through the book. And really, if the longings of my heart are ever to be fulfilled, then I must start by growing my relationship with God.

That’s not the only relationship that is discussed though. My relationships with my husband and kids are important too! Sarah Mae doesn’t shy away from reminding us just how important it is to pour ourselves into our children. Yes, sometimes our dreams do have to give way for the sake of our kids, but it’s more than worth it. Seems that I need this reminder more often that I’d like to admit. I enjoyed hearing her talk about her husband and her children. It reminded me that the real stories aren’t movie moments, but they are so much more beautiful because of it.

Reading Longing for Paris has challenged me to spend more time meditating on scripture and purposefully spending time cultivating my faith. It’s far too easy for me to let that slide when things get busy. I have to make this a priority though, and it’s another reminder that I desperately needed right now!

As I said earlier, I’m a dreamer, and I loved what Sarah Mae said about dreams in chapter 7:

“I am not chasing my dreams; I am simply accepting what God puts before me.

And I think that’s the trick – not chasing dreams, but surrendering them and yourself to the Lord.”

I have to admit, there are a lot of my teenage dreams that did not come true, but God gave me new dreams. Better dreams.

Longing for Paris is a book that I’ll definitely have to read through again. I absolutely recommend it to the moms out there who are secretly dreamers and adventurers. You’ll be glad that you picked this book up!

Note: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are solely my own.

Book Review: A Worthy Pursuit

I’m not typically that into westerns. There are a few exceptions, but it’s not my usual genre of choice. Anything by Karen Witemeyer is one of the exceptions though!

Cover ArtStone was hired to find Charlotte and bring back the little girl that he’s been told she kidnapped. Then Charlotte shows him proof that she’s the little girl’s legal guardian. That leaves Stone trying to sort out the truth of the matter and unravel the mystery of why the girl’s grandfather lied to him in the first place. A Worthy Pursuit has all of this and a healthy dose of adventure, mystery, humor, and even a bit of romance.

What I love the most about Karen’s books is that the characters are always unique and interesting. That holds true for A Worthy Pursuit as well. Charlotte’s backstory in particular struck a chord with me. I had to laugh when Stone discovered, to his great dismay, that a series of dime novels was based on his own exploits! And I absolutely fell in love with the children who are in Charlotte’s care.

Honestly, there’s not a thing I would change about A Worthy Pursuit. The story kept me interested and entertained the whole way through. Fans of western historical fiction will definitely enjoy this book, but even if it’s not the type of book you’d usually pick up, you still may want to give Karen’s book at try! The fabulous thing about her books is that they are clean reads, and I wouldn’t hesitate to hand one to a teen.

A Worthy Pursuit was such a fun read, and as much as I’ve enjoyed all of Karen’s books so far, she’s one author who’s books are on my must-read list!

Note: I received a complementary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own, and I received no monetary compensation for this post.

Knockout Knits Review

Now is the time of year when I get serious about Christmas knitting. Accessories are one of my favorite gifts to knit. So when I had the chance to review Knockout Knits by Laura Nelkin, I was thrilled!

Knockout Knits is perfect for a knitter who has mastered the basics, and wants to try out some interesting stiches and techniques. The accessories in the book are the perfect size for practicing something new. The patterns are divided into three sections, wrapped stitches, lace, and beading. Each section starts out with the instructions for the basics of the new technique, so you can quickly and easily reference it as needed.

I had to cast on the Prolix Mitts as soon as I saw the pattern! I’d never tried using wrapped stitches this way before, and I’ve quite enjoyed knitting these.

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I’ve decided that my next project from Knockout Knits will be the Cha Ching Mitts featured on the cover. I had no interest in trying beaded knitting until I saw the photo of these beauties!

If you’re just beginning to learn to knit or you are looking for simple patterns, then this might not be the book for you. But, if you’re comfortable with basic knitting concepts, and knitting in the round, you’ll have no trouble with the patterns in Knockout Knits. The patterns are clear and easy to follow. And the photography! The photos in the book are gorgeous! I love the full-page photos that really show off the knitting. They give me a close-up look at the beautiful stitch techniques used.

This is a lovely go-to book for gift knitting. It would also be a wonderful gift for the knitter in your life!

Note: I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for this review.